Marquez Earns Debut MotoGP Pole at Circuit of the Americas

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez

2013 Austin MotoGP Qualifying Results from Circuit of the Americas

Marc Marquez made history Saturday during the debut of the Circuit of the Americas on the MotoGP calendar.

In only his second round of his MotoGP career, the 20-year-old Spaniard qualified on top of the 25-rider grid with the fastest lap at COTA so far – a 2:03.021.

It was the first-ever pole at the Austin circuit, and Marquez also become the youngest rider to achieve a pole in the premier class. Marquez broke the previous record held by Freddie Spencer in 1982; Spencer, who won the 1983 and 1985 500cc titles, was 21 years old.

Joining the reigning Moto2 Champion on the front row will be his teammate Dani Pedrosa, the only other rider to lead a session this weekend (Free Practice 3), and the reigning MotoGP Champion, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo.

Marquez was fast at the F1 circuit from the very first outing in March, which was some private testing that included only five riders – Marquez and Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda RC213Vs, Yamaha’s Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi on the YZR-M1s, and Stefan Bradl on the LCR Honda RC213V.

Marquez then led FP1, FP2 and FP4, only being ousted in FP3 by his teammate Pedrosa. During FP3, Marquez suffered a crash on Turn 19, but was able to quickly move ahead and take the pole, which is in a new format during the sophomore year of the 1000cc era.

For 2013, the top 10 riders from the first three free practice sessions atomically are entered into Q2, along with the two fastest riders from Q1. After the 15-minute qualifying heat is complete, these 12 riders make the top 12 on the starting grid.

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “We are happy of course, because we took our first pole position which is important and always exciting! We knew beforehand that we could fight for pole, but you never know what will happen in the session.

“Both Dani and Jorge are fast over a single lap, and we managed to overcome them. The important stuff starts tomorrow, because we have a long, physical race with many of changes of direction to deal with. We need to be ready, because tomorrow is what really counts and I will do the best that I can!”

Pedrosa was 0.254 of a second back. He was the final rider to post within a second of Marquez.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “The session was a little tense, as in fifteen minutes you only have time for four good laps. Fortunately we didn’t have any problems with traffic this time, and I was able to focus and put in a strong lap –faster than all but one in the end!

“It was a good session, and we took second on the grid which is positive, because Marc put in a fast lap and is close by. We need to try to increase the rear grip for tomorrow and work towards having a strong race.”

Taking the final front-row position was two-time MotoGP Champion Lorenzo, who was 1.079 seconds back. Lorenzo was quick during the 15-minute qualifying heat, taking the provisional pole with 10 minutes remaining. But a mistimed trip through pit lane at the last minutes prevented him from putting in another hot lap.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “What happened in qualifying is more or less what happened in all the sessions: our rivals are much more fast than us in pace and on a fast lap. Our best position we could do today was third.

“Tomorrow in the race anything could happen. If something strange happens we can fight for the win but in normal conditions third is a really good position for tomorrow. We hope that the race is going to be better than qualifying and we can be closer to Marc and Dani.”

Heading up the second row will be Monster Yamaha’s Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, who finished ahead of Bradl and the fastest Ducati rider – Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso.

Next was GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, the Spaniard quicker than Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi and the top CRT rider – Power Electronics Aspar Aleix Espargaro.

The CRT bike out-qualified all Americas on the grid, including the rider on top of the fourth row, Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden (10th), and Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati’s Ben Spies (12th). Qualifying between Hayden and Spies was the rookie Bradley Smith aboard the Monster Yamaha Tech 3.

Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone, will head up the fifth row. Just like 14th-placed Randy de Puniet (Aspar), Iannone had challenged but failed to earn a spot in Q2.

In 15th position, Hector Barbera will be the leading Avintia Blusens rider, starting the race in front of PBM duo Yonny Hernandez and Michael Laverty, NGM Mobile Forward Racing pairing Colin Edwards and Claudio Corti, Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci and Blusens’ Hiroshi Aoyama. The back row will consist of Australian Bryan Staring, Czech Lukas Pesek and American wildcard rider Blake Young for Gresini, Ioda and Attack Performance Racing, respectively.

Twenty-four riders will start Sunday’s race. Wildcard Michael Barnes (GPTech) failed to make the 107% threshold, whereas Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham has sustained a fracture to his right collarbone following a collision with Staring in Q1.

2013 Austin MotoGP Qualifying Results from Circuit of the Americas):

Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 341.6 2’03.021
2 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 339.1 2’03.275 0.254 / 0.254
3 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 335.0 2’04.100 1.079 / 0.825
4 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 332.4 2’04.267 1.246 / 0.167
5 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 336.8 2’04.445 1.424 / 0.178
6 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 336.5 2’04.873 1.852 / 0.428
7 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 335.7 2’04.942 1.921 / 0.069
8 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 335.2 2’05.380 2.359 / 0.438
9 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 320.1 2’05.389 2.368 / 0.009
10 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 336.5 2’05.568 2.547 / 0.179
11 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 334.1 2’06.740 3.719 / 1.172
12 11 Ben SPIES USA Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati 333.8 2’07.044 4.023 / 0.304
13 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 335.0 2’06.872 0.760 / 0.281
14 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 315.3 2’07.129 1.017 / 0.257
15 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Blusens FTR 316.9 2’07.717 1.605 / 0.588
16 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Paul Bird Motorsport ART 315.4 2’07.738 1.626 / 0.021
17 70 Michael LAVERTY GBR Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 310.2 2’08.259 2.147 / 0.521
18 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 313.4 2’08.475 2.363 / 0.216
19 71 Claudio CORTI ITA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 315.9 2’08.792 2.680 / 0.317
20 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 315.0 2’08.825 2.713 / 0.033
21 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Avintia Blusens FTR 310.0 2’09.062 2.950 / 0.237
22 67 Bryan STARING AUS GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda 311.6 2’10.098 3.986 / 1.036
23 52 Lukas PESEK CZE Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 313.8 2’10.507 4.395 / 0.409
24 79 Blake YOUNG USA Attack Performance Racing APR 307.2 2’10.606 4.494 / 0.099
15 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing ART 310.5 2’23.317 17.205 / 12.711